1998: Place Riel Theatre closes as movie theatre
In April 1998 the Place Riel
Theatre ceased operations as a movie house.
Located in the Arts Building, it had opened in 1975 as the first part of
the Place Riel Centre. Chris Jones,
later the artistic director of the Broadway Theatre, was the founding
director. It was popular with students
for its low prices, good selection (independent films, classics and
second-runs), and real butter on the popcorn.
Particularly after renovations in 1992 to upgrade the sound system, it
was billed as one of the best cinemas in Saskatoon. However, it fell victim to the opening of two new multi-screen
cinemas in 1995 – the Centre and the
Rainbow (the latter known as the “cheap theatre”) – and attendance decreased
dramatically, to the point that the Place Riel Society decided it couldn’t
afford to continue to run the theatre.
Place Riel Theatre continues to be used for public lectures and
1998a: Advertisement from the theatre’s first year of operation. The Sheaf, 19 May 1976.
The Sheaf, 7
October 1975 (advertisement); 26 February 1998.